Hoon Dok Hae reading
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All political connections between them and the state of Great Britain are and ought to be totally dissolved, and for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor.
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, Philadelphia.
Who is the true owner of America? It is the person who loves America as God does. I hope each one of you will also open your hearts in prayer. You will be able to feel the earnest desire of the Pilgrim fathers and the many patriots who have gone before us in America's history.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, April 8, 2000, Washington, D.C.
Good morning, everybody. Thank you for coming. You have to forgive me. I may get a bit emotional during this talk this morning. I have a lot of deep feelings. Especially yesterday, as Dr. Moon, our True Mother, spoke these words, she herself was overcome with tears as she spoke the very words we just heard. As I reflect on that experience with her yesterday, I asked myself, why does God still love America, after all that's happened? God is still pursuing this nation. On an external level we can see that the economy in this nation is roaring along. Unprecedented prosperity is taking place in this nation. I know some of you may not feel like you're sharing in that prosperity these days. Nevertheless, facts verify that the prosperity is there.
On an internal level, I think we can see that God is not yet leaving America, because we can see that the providence is still focused so substantially on America. So why? What makes America great? Is it just that America has such a roaring economy, that we could tap into that economy and fund providential work around the world? Partially. But I am quite certain that's not all of the reason. The reason lies in the Declaration of Independence, in American history, in the commitment of those who drafted that declaration. This is the one nation in history that was founded entirely on the basis of God's providence.
I assume the majority of you in this room live here in D.C., and I would not be surprised if many of you have not yet visited the monuments, even though you may have lived here 5 years or 20 years. You certainly should. If nothing else, I hope you would gather the impetus to do that. Visit the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. What will you find there? Well, you'll find, probably most notably to a Unificationist, the words of those leaders inscribed in those monuments. And you will see that they are the very words of those great presidents of American history which were imbued with God throughout. The words of Abraham Lincoln on the Lincoln Memorial are powerful, from his second inaugural address. He draws upon divine providence over and over again in those words inscribed on the walls. It's hard, if one is in a prayerful mood, not to break down in tears as one reads those words.
To this day the U.S. Congress starts with prayer. There are those who have tried to remove that tradition, but in vain. The tradition of America is rooted in God, rooted in prayer, and even those who disagree with it cannot bring themselves to take it out of Congress. They may have taken it out of the schools but they have not yet been able to take it out of Congress.
It is a nation of all races and nations together. One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all is a motto for this country. Those are not insignificant words. It's really the only nation where you can be together, all races and cultures, and particularly I find centering around the work of Rev. and Mrs. Moon, the True Parents, we find that interracial, intercultural spirit.
Yesterday I had at once a beautiful and quite humorous experience. After the program I went to the men's room. Now ladies, please don't be embarrassed by this, but in a men's room gentlemen kind of line up in front of a wall. Guys know what I'm talking about. Women, you shouldn't know what I'm talking about. You have to envision it somehow. But there were four places to be, and I was in the middle, but there were four gentlemen there standing and doing what you do in a restroom, and I noticed among those four gentlemen, was a white man, myself, a black man, an Asian man and a Hispanic gentleman, and we were sharing that experience together centering around the leadership of the True Parents. But I also felt somehow moved by that rather humorous experience because I realized that in a sense where else but in America, and centering around the providential works of True Parents, would I have that experience in a men's room? But really, to be there with my brothers, doing that most basic human thing together, white, black, yellow, and Hispanic.
Probably the only nation where that would happen, wouldn't you say? If you visited Japan or Korea recently, nations from which we draw a great deal of beautiful, historical tradition, you would probably be the one white guy and everybody else there would be Asian, because that's the way it is pretty much anywhere else in the world.
Freedom represents the true freedom under God that all people seek. That's why people came to this nation. Now this declaration shows several important things. Thomas Jefferson and the 56 signers of the Declaration said, "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." So they're created. Right from the beginning it's about God. This is a political document. And it said, "they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." The significant thing here is that rights don't come from a government. They don't come from a king. Where do they come from? From God. No other nation in history has been developed in that way. Even the theocracies of the 20th and 21st century which are centered on one religion, the rights come from the king or the monarch. Even though they might appear to be a God-centered nation, there's a big difference in that regard.
Then they say all political connections ought to be totally dissolved. Now think about that. These 56 people are declaring their independence from the most powerful nation in the world at that time, and they say at the conclusion, "and for the support of this declaration, with the firm reliance on the protection of divine providence" -- there's that phrase again. They felt that they were providential people. It's written right there. They weren't just doing this because they were ornery or they wanted to be independent, or they didn't want to pay taxes, as sometimes is thought. They felt that they were under divine providence.
Then they say, "We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." Now what does that mean? Well, at the very least they would lose their honor. They knew that for sure, if they failed. They knew what they were doing. They weren't just declaring independence. What were they doing? Declaring a battle. It would be nice if the English king would say, that's great, you young Americans. I'm glad you feel this way. Godspeed. But they knew that wouldn't happen.
They knew at the very least they would lose their personal honor, and in those days honor was very important. If not their honor, they were sure they would lose their fortunes. Most of these people were upper middle class. They had fortunes. And they knew if they lost this struggle they would lose that fortune entirely. They knew their property would be taken, their money would be taken, their homes would be taken. Perhaps their families. But most importantly, they say, "We pledge to each other our lives." Because really the point was that if they failed in this struggle, what would most likely happen? They would be executed. Definitely. That's how serious they were. They were that serious to create a nation under divine providence at the risk of their lives.
I think a lot of times we forget that point, and it's right here in this document. I wanted to reproduce it for you because here are the signatures of those 56. Of course John Hancock had the biggest one, but all the other ones are here. But think about what it meant to that person when he was signing this? It meant, I am indeed pledging my life, my fortune and my sacred honor. And when they signed this document they knew they might well die. Imagine that feeling. Imagine that sense of commitment for a vision to build a nation of freedom, the vision that's outlined in this beautiful declaration.
If you're not American and you have not read that document, I urge you to do so. Again, it states that our freedom comes from God, not from a government. And these 56 men were ready to die for this cause.
When we look at the rich history of our country, we think of the faith of the Pilgrim fathers. We've talked about it numerous times. Rev. and Mrs. Moon frequently speak of the Pilgrims' commitment, their holy desire, the fact that they built first their church, then schools for the children, and lastly their homes. Dr. Moon mentioned that again yesterday.
The founders of which we have just spoken weren't all Christians. Some were Deists. But they were all people who believed in God. They were all people who knew that the hand of God had to be upon their work.
Abraham Lincoln, a man who faced defeat numerous times but had a sense of destiny, a sense of providence in front of him, and in fact was martyred for that sense of providence. As Mike Leone mentioned in a beautiful testimony a few weeks ago, his Gettysburg address was not thought to be an important speech at the time he gave it, but Mike recently met a Chinese leader who recited that entire speech in English, and said, this is one of the greatest speeches in human history. And that speech as well invokes the name of God as a central theme.
There are modern patriots, most notably Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who I think impressed upon the world an image of that ideal society of all brothers and sisters, in his beautiful "I Have a Dream" speech. (real audio)
All these people were God-centered people. They were all committed unto death. Dr. King gave a famous sermon the night before he was assassinated. He knew what was coming. They all shared this total dedication. They all knew they might die for the purpose that they were about. That's the spirit, the commitment that built this nation. That kind of seriousness and commitment based on building a God-centered nation, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.
At the same time we also need to be mindful that we represent America. We know that there are sins in this nation. When the Europeans came here, the Christian Europeans, we all know well there were already people living here. We talk about America being discovered, but it was discovered by the Europeans. The folks living here didn't discover a thing, except perhaps they discovered some Europeans. The sketchy history we have shows there was a possibility that they could live together in harmony. So important was that vision that Abraham Lincoln himself restored the tradition of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It wasn't official until Lincoln did that in the 19th century, that tradition of the natives and the Europeans coming together and offering the harvest to God in thanks. We also know that although there was a chance for a harmonious beginning, it ended in blood and in savagery and in pain that this nation has yet to overcome. Likewise, Africans were brought here by the thousands in bondage, and that sin has not yet been overcome. We need to overcome them.
I believe every person in this room was chosen for a mission in spite of our sins. We know the basic message of the providence taught in the Bible and other religions, but most notably in the Bible is that we are sinful individuals and we need to repent and overcome. And we need to do that as individuals. We're aware of that. And I think we're aware that when we do, God can use us in spite of those sins. Am I right?
I've been often amazed. Even though I'm such a wretch, God uses me somehow. In fact, I ask God sometimes how can you keep using me? What do you see that I don't see? Sometimes I need to do that in order to tune into my original mind. Because each of us has an original mind created by God. I believe America has that same original purpose destined by God, and in spite of its sins, God needs America to fulfill its original purpose. And who knows better about that? I believe, again, it's the people in this room.
In 1959 Rev. Moon, a young Rev. Moon, sent Miss Young Oon Kim to the United States, to my home state actually, of Oregon. I would have been nine years old at the time. She came to Portland and later moved to Eugene, Oregon, where the University of Oregon had accepted her as a graduate student. A little later on David Kim, Sang Chul Kim, came there and enrolled in a seminary in Portland, my home town. A little while later Dr. Bo Hi Pak came here to this city, and those three pioneered this new Christian faith, and the message from God as taught in the Divine Principle.
In 1971 Dr. and Mrs. Moon came here to America, and even moved their family here. Yesterday Dr. Moon, our True Mother, said the following in her speech. "During the last 30 years my husband has not spent so much as one day in comfort or ease." That's a powerful statement. Not so much as one day in comfort or ease. If one looks superficially at East Garden, for instance, or airplanes and so forth, one could easily not see the reality of that lifestyle, but if one spends time with them, you can experience firsthand that commitment.
So over the course of 30 years a great deal has happened here in the United States centering on that vision. You know, when I met the Unification Church, I was not particularly patriotic. I don't know about other Americans here. The early 70s were a time when it was fashionable to be unpatriotic. In fact, based on the subversive work of Marxists throughout this country and the world, I think the very providential founding of this nation was at risk during that time. Who taught me to be patriotic? It was Rev. and Mrs. Moon, our True Parents. It was indeed they who taught me again to be patriotic.
And I gave my young years to work with them, to reignite that vision. I know in 1974 I struggled a great deal when I read the Watergate statement. If you have not read the Watergate statement, please look it up and read it. It's the statement issued by Rev. Sun Myung Moon in August 1974, surrounding the situation America was in with its president having been accused of lying, and in the process of being impeached and later resigning from office. And basically it said, forgive, love, and unite. It talked about Americans forgiving, it talked about everybody repenting, starting with the president, forgiving one another, including the president, and making a new beginning. When I first read that it was very hard because I was like many young people of today, I guess, kind of not real positive about Richard Nixon at the time. But then I read it again and I studied it more and I prayed and then I understood what it said. I have to say, that particular document really changed my life.
How about yourselves, Americans here today. How did you come to love America? I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the work of the True Parents. Who are the True Americans? That's a question that Rev. Moon asked in 1973, in a landmark speech, God's Hope for America. And he went on to say something similar to what Dr. Moon said yesterday. It is time for America to waken once again. It is time for this country to create a new movement to build God-centered true parents, true families, true country, and a true world. Who is the true owner of America? It is the person who loves America as God does. That's what I learned. I learned how to love this country as God loves this country. I didn't even know God loved this country.
Now there are many of you in this room who were not born here. You are here because you are married to an American, or you are here because somehow you feel God wants you to be here, or you are somehow asked to be here by the work of the providence. In that case, who are the Americans? I would say every person in this room, with perhaps the exception of our visitor from South America, although we'd love to have you move to America if you'd like to, we are Americans. If you are Japanese, if you are Korean, if you are European, or if you're born in America, I would submit to you today you are an American because we are all here to save this nation.
So as we think about that, and as we pray about that, let us consider why was I chosen, why me? We're talking about why America, but why me? Why would God want me? That's for each and every one of us to decide. I'm not going to tell you that. All I can say is, I know there is a destiny. I know that God called each person in this room for a purpose, and I know that God called everybody that's working in America with the providence for a reason, related to themselves and their qualifications, and I know that God called each one of us here in Washington, D.C. to be here for a reason.
Over the last 30 years many of us have gone quite a course. Many of us have sacrificed much of our young life in order to pursue providential work. Sometimes in crazy ways I had some beautiful experiences in 1975. I was up in New England working with witnessing programs and I was teaching workshops in New Hampshire. There were some wonderful women there. They were women of the 43 and 777 couple blessing. They were my elder sisters. Women like Marie Ang, Betsy Jones, Nora Spurgin. And one story I remember is the testimony of a fresh young American girl that I was teaching a 7-day workshop. You all know her as Kim Dadachanji. She was in the parking lot of a supermarket and it was raining so hard she couldn't get out of the car because she would have gotten too wet. She waited in the car for the shower to subside and then she would go in.
In that kind of downpour, a pregnant woman came up and knocked on the window of her car. She rolled the window down to see what this crazy person could possibly be doing, and it was Mrs. Betsy Jones, who was witnessing to her, saying, "I have a message from God I want to tell you about. Can I get in?" Kim was a sincere Christian. She let her do that.
That's the kind of history we've had. Probably all of you at one time or another have done something crazy for God in that way. That kind of commitment. Why me? Because somehow I'm the kind of person that God can use. I'm the kind of person that can have that dedication. I'm the kind of person that can understand the dedication that the founders of America had when they said, "we pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
Have I pledged my life, my fortune and my sacred honor to change this nation? That's the question we need to ask ourselves today. So I've given you a place in the program to write some reflections on why America -- we've been talking about that this morning. Why me? Why did God choose me to participate in this work? What does God want me to do? That's the last part.
Our True Mother said yesterday that it's time for America to awaken once again. It's time for this country to create a new movement to build God-centered true parents, true families, true country, and a true world. If America attends God properly, all our problems will be solved. Family problems, moral problems, youth problems, and racial problems -- all will disappear. As a place where people of all races and nations can live together in harmony, America will be a model for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Beautiful words, don't you think?
Who's going to help them? Is it going to be the mainline churches? It should be, but practically speaking, is it? No, it's not. We have some precious African-American ministers who are willing to help, God bless them. Many of them were there with us attending True Mother yesterday. Hopefully we can help them understand the depth of commitment that even we ourselves need to rededicate to. Specifically, what will I do? That's what I want you to reflect on in the last part of this handout.
Let's get specific. What would I like to do that I'm not already doing? I may have a mission. Is that mission just a job? If so, what else am I doing? How can I help True Parents reawaken this nation? Who is going to do that? Who understands better the intent and power of this Declaration of Independence than the folks in this room? I don't think anyone does.
What can I give? Well, I can first give my heart and my prayers. A friend and I were talking the other day about prayer and prayer conditions. We embrace the prayer conditions and we know they are important, but his comment was, "I know prayer conditions are important and I'm always challenged by them and I'm doing this prayer condition with great joy and I'm getting a lot out of it. But also I know we've got to do something. We've got to work." There's so much to do. He told me a couple of nights from 10 to 11 he's been doing some work on providential projects that he's involved in. I would say that would be a prayerful offering in itself.
What can I give? Well, I can give my time and I can give money. Now we have tithing, I'm not going to talk about that, but there are other things as well. What else can I give besides a 10 percent tithe? Some people say, I can't even give 10 percent. I know as a UTS graduate I've tried to send something, anything, to UTS, even if it's $10, to make an offering. Once they sent me a letter about wanting to put new windows in. I felt I had to do something. When I got a letter about establishing a blessing fund in America, Loretta and I felt we had to send something. Once I heard about the great work that a friend of mine, Dr. Kathy Winings, was doing in International Religious Freedom and Friendship Foundation. Incredible direct action in ravaged countries around the world, with young people. I said, I've got to give her some support, so I sent $10.
How can we give our time and our money specifically to help God's work to save this nation? I ask you to use this paper here and write something.
I'd like to close with one more quote from True Mother yesterday.
It is time for us to unite and open the path for humankind. It is time for America as the elder son nation attending God to lead the way. America can complete its mission as the pilot that guides the nations to God.
Let us pray.